Meet Roddy Llewellyn from The Crown, Princess Margaret’s secret toyboy
He was the catalyst behind her marriage breaking up
Princess Margaret is one of The Crown’s more tragic characters – even if she is quite iconic. In between the drinking and singing, there are a string of lost loves. World War Two fighter pilots might come and go, but once we’re introduced to new man Roddy Llewellyn in The Crown you start to hope things might be different.
He’s a man who manages to somehow be a mystery, and yet open. Lovable, with hidden depths. But who is he? And how much truth is there to how The Crown portrays their relationship?
Here’s what you need to know about The Crown’s Roddy Llewellyn.
Who is Roddy Llewellyn in The Crown?
In the final episode of season three, Princess Margaret finds love with her gardener, Roddy Llewellyn. Whereas that episode makes it seem like a week-long dalliance, it was actually an eight-year affair.
Llewellyn also makes an appearance in episode seven of season four, as the mysterious man Margaret waves to in the pool. While the appearance is fleeting, actor Harry Treadaway is credited in the episode. In another sleight of hand, the pair actually ended things around 1980, before the start of season four’s time period. Perhaps he was just a mirage.
Aside from playing Roddy Llewellyn in The Crown, Treadaway has played Victor Frankenstein in Penny Dreadful. He could also undoubtedly play Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, were the bird app ever given the Social Network treatment.
Helena Bonham Carter and Roddy Llewellyn actor Harry Treadaway even had tea with the real-life Roddy to prepare for the role, noting his mannerisms.
Who is Roddy Llewellyn in real life?
Roddy Lllewellyn was born into the aristocracy and is now the 5th Llewellyn Baronet. However, he found his love in landscape gardening.
The pair met in 1973 at a party hosted by Lord Glenconner. Roddy was 26 and the still-married Margaret was 42. The affair was to last eight years.
“I discovered a warm and witty woman, possessing a strong sense of duty and dedication to her country’s interests, who has honoured me with her friendship since that first house party that was so filled with fun and laughter,” Roddy told the News of the World.
“We found we were all fond of charades and sing-songs. I have even sung to her accompaniment on the piano. To raise a laugh, HRH has donned a wig to sing a Sophie Tucker red hot momma number.
Their relationship was the catalyst in the breakdown of Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowdon. When, in 1976, a picture of the pair holidaying in Mustique was published, the subsequent scandal was the final straw.
Roddy later said of the affair: “I didn’t think about the consequences of such a high-profile affair. If we all had crystal balls, we’d all know which horse to back, wouldn’t we? I was just following my heart.”
In the end, the age gap proved to be too much of an obstacle and the pair broke up. By 1981, Roddy had married someone else.
At Queen Margaret’s funeral in 2002, the Queen apparently told Baroness Glenconner that “he made her [Margaret] really happy”, thanking her for introducing the pair.
Roddy Llewellyn is still alive, now 73 years old and keeping out of the public eye.
He was just one of Princess Margaret’s many love interests
Along with Princess Margaret’s husband, Lord Snowdon, Roddy was one of many men to cross the path of Elizabeth’s younger sister.
Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones separated in 1976, shortly after the Mustique photos came to light.
Before that, her relationship with World War Two pilot Peter Townsend ended with marriage being firmly taken off the table. However, unlike in The Crown, royal historians agree it was Margaret who made the ultimate call to end things.
During her time, she was also linked with Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, and Pink Panther star Peter Sellers.
The Crown season four is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.